Bio: Van Gorden, S. H. (12 Feb. 1931)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Van Gorden, Caley, Pratt

----Sources: Fredericksburg News (Fredericksburg, Iowa) Thurs., 12 Feb. 1931; front page

S. H. Van Gorden celebrates 79th Birthday

The following article was taken from the Banner-Journal, (Black River Falls, Wisconsin) under date of February 4th, 1931. The Van Gorden family were former residents of Fredericksburg, so this clipping will undoubtedly be of interest to many of the old-time residents.

S. H. Van Gorden, of Hixton, celebrated his seventy-ninth birthday anniversary on Sunday, January 25th. His anniversary falls on January 22. He was more than pleasantly surprised by having a number of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren surprise him in honor of the day. Among those from away who were present were, Mr. and Mrs. B. L. Van Gorden, of Taylor; C. S. Van Gorden and family and Mrs. Caley, of Eau Claire; Harry Van Gorden and son Kenneth, of Alma Center; Bruce Van Gorden and family, of this city, and C. O. Pratt and family, of Hixton.

Not the least of the pleasures of this anniversary is contained in a letter from his son Clyde, of Eau Claire, who was unable to be present for the day. However, if not there, he did the next best thing, wrote his father a letter and even built him a toast in poetry. We publish it below.

Our admiration for Mr. Van Gorden is not so much that he has attained seventy-nine years and the remarkable stage of preservation that is his, but that he has been the kind of a father that can draw a letter of tribute such as this on his anniversary. Our congratulations are for his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They are remarkably lucky to have a forefather of his type. May they celebrate many more anniversaries together.

Thursday, Jan. 22, 1931

Dear Dad: It seems as though some one has a birthday today. If my memory hasn’t lapsed it’s you, and you are 79 years young. In fact you are just twice as old as I am - which is a peculiar coincidence. But I know one thing - you don’t feel twice as old as I.

I wish that I could be with you today to help celebrate. But it’s hurry, hustle and bustle in this day and age and our business conditions make us carry on when we’d like to do otherwise.

I feel slightly poetic today, so here’s a toast:

Here’s to my dad, the dearest dad,

He’s been a father and mother to me;

His advice I have taken-it’s not to be shaken,

The results of which I can see.

He’s been a success, Gold bless him,

In all that he’s set out to do;

How many Dads have done that,

Count them - you’ll find mighty few.

I trust that when I am seventy-nine,

That I can look back with a smile

And say to the world, "I’ve been a success,

My time on’ this Earth was worth while."

And so this day I offer a toast,

To a man I love dearest and best—

"My Dad" - I can’t lick him at seventy-nine,

And I hope he don’t ask for the test.

And now that that is out of my system

I’ll sign off. Many happy returns of the day, and

we hope to see soon.

Clyde, Elsie, and children



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